If you’re visiting La Fortuna, Costa Rica, prepare for an unforgettable experience. At Find My Costa Rica, we’ve meticulously crafted a custom itinerary for your 7-day stay in this tropical paradise.
Day 1#: Arrival and Local Exploration
Information on transportation to La Fortuna
Your Costa Rican adventure begins as you land at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose.
Upon landing, obtaining your transportation is the first step to starting your La Fortuna adventure. A rental car is a hassle-free option that allows you to explore the region at your own pace, ensuring you don’t miss out on hidden gems.
You can also opt for a private shuttle, which is comfortable and stress-free. Several reputable companies offer transportation services from the airport to La Fortuna. Pre-booking your shuttle ensures a smooth transfer, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenic journey.
Last but not least, Costa Rica’s public transportation system is well-connected. Buses departing from the airport are affordable for a budget-friendly journey. Just keep in mind that this option may involve multiple transfers and a longer travel time.
Once you’ve decided on your transportation, the next step is to prepare for a scenic drive to La Fortuna, where you’ll see the country’s breathtaking landscapes. The journey becomes part of the adventure as you drive through lush rainforests and catch glimpses of the Arenal Volcano on the horizon.
Suggestions for first-day activities
When arriving at La Fortuna, you’ll be greeted by its inviting atmosphere and the stunning backdrop of the Arenal Volcano. Check into your chosen accommodation: a cozy, luxurious boutique hotel or an eco-friendly lodge.
After settling in, stroll through downtown La Fortuna in San Carlos. This area is a must-visit destination, filled with local life. You’ll find many shops, cafes, and small businesses here.
As you wander, take advantage of the opportunity to explore local markets. These markets feature handmade crafts, local produce, and unique souvenirs.
Your trip to La Fortuna town wouldn’t be complete without trying the local cuisine. Go into a local “soda” for an authentic taste of the traditional “casado,” a delicious plate featuring rice, beans, plantains, salad, and a choice of protein. You can also indulge in a tropical fruit smoothie to refresh yourself after the journey.
Day 2#: Visiting Arenal Volcano National Park
On day 2, immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Arenal Volcano National Park, where you’ll have the opportunity to witness the majesty of an active volcano.
Take a guided tour to learn about the volcano’s geological history, the impact of past eruptions, and the diverse flora and fauna that call this national park home.
Continue your journey to the Fortuna River and Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges for more captivating views and a deeper connection with the natural beauty of Costa Rica. The hanging bridges provide a unique perspective, allowing you to observe the rainforest from various heights.
After a day of exploration, return to your hotel and treat yourself to a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.
If exciting outdoor adventures are on your radar, explore our 8.5 Hours Hanging Bridges Hike and White Water Rafting in Balsa River Class 2 and 3 tour.
We’ll take you to a thrilling hanging bridges experience where you can hike through the amazing rainforest. Also, you get to navigate the Balsa River. Keep your eyes open during the journey, as you might spot amazing wildlife!
Do you want to explore other must-visit locations? Get ready for an unforgettable exploration of our Wild Costa Rica tour! Learn about the conservation efforts in Tortuguero, explore the Amazon-like canals, marvel at Arenal’s hanging bridges and La Fortuna Waterfall, encounter wildlife in Manuel Antonio, and glide along the Pacific Coast on a catamaran.
Day 3#: Adventure and Relaxation
Ready for day 3? Today’s itinerary promises a mix of adventure and relaxation.
Start your morning with a visit to the beautiful La Fortuna Waterfall. Take a hike through the lush tropical rainforest to reach this natural marvel, cascading from a height of 70 meters. Nothing can beat the sight and sound of the waterfall to set the perfect start to your day.
If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, embark on a thrilling zip-lining adventure with Sky Adventures. Consider a horseback ride through the scenic landscapes of La Fortuna for a unique experience.
A guided tour will take you on trails with panoramic views of La Fortuna area, which includes the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal.
As the day ends, unwind with a visit to one of the natural hot springs at the Tabacon Thermal Resort. This is the perfect place to find naturally heated pools in a tranquil, luxurious setting. You can also indulge in a spa treatment or have dinner at the Springs Resort for the ultimate experience. There’s no better way to relax and reflect on the day’s adventures.
Day 4#: Explore Other Destinations
The Cavernas del Venado connection
While the iconic Arenal Volcano is a major attraction, there’s another hidden gem that calls adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts: the Cavernas del Venado.
Located approximately 45 minutes from La Fortuna, these caves offer a unique journey into Costa Rica’s geological history and an unforgettable underground experience.
The caves provide a peek into Costa Rica’s geological past, revealing clues about the formation of the country’s landscape. Submerged under the ocean for millions of years, these caves, dating back around 15 to 20 million years, house fossils that tell tales of ancient marine life.
Home to bats, snakes, amphibians, and insects, the caves reveal a unique subterranean ecosystem. A shallow stream keeps things clean. The journey takes one to two hours, and while you can go solo, a guide adds some historical context.
Exploring cave formations is a unique experience. Discovering an underground world allows you to learn about earth formation, rock structures, and history and encounter surprising subterranean fauna. This is a great activity, especially for children above 7 years old!
La Fortuna to Rio Celeste
Begin your day with an early departure from La Fortuna, taking in the scenic beauty of the Arenal Volcano and the lush landscapes of the country’s highlands as you go to Tenorio Volcano National Park, home to the breathtaking Rio Celeste.
When you arrive, follow the hiking trails through the tropical rainforest, letting the sounds of exotic birds and the aroma of lush vegetation guide you.
Another recommended activity is exploring the Celeste Waterfall, where the celestial blue waters (a result of a unique chemical reaction) cascade into a natural pool. At Find My Costa Rica, we offer our Full Day Río Celeste Guided Hike Tour from La Fortuna, taking you to the stunning Río Celeste Waterfall. Get ready to marvel at this destination’s bright blue water and changing colors!
Chances are you’ve come this far seeking adventure, and this is a great place to do so. Consider exploring nearby attractions, such as hanging bridges or a zip-lining experience through the lush canopy.
Moreover, taking a guided tour is an excellent opportunity to learn about the park’s rich biodiversity and the conservation efforts to protect this natural treasure.
Exploring Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge
Day 4 promises an immersion into nature, wildlife, and the unique ecosystems that make Costa Rica a haven for ecotourism. Your day starts with a journey from La Fortuna to the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, a gem rich in biodiversity.
Located near the Nicaraguan border, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is a haven for bird watchers. You might want to keep your camera ready to capture the incredible biodiversity.
One of the best things you can do here is take a break and have lunch amidst the natural surroundings. Many tours include meals, offering a chance to savor local flavors surrounded by rainforest sounds.
Private tours are available! Learn about the importance of Caño Negro in preserving Costa Rica’s ecological balance. The knowledgeable guides often share exciting facts about the diverse ecosystems and the ongoing conservation efforts. Our 2.5 Hour Costa Rica Boat Tour, River Safari & Wildlife Sightseeing take you to Caño negro for an exciting river safari adventure.
This day trip promises an unforgettable encounter with this stunning country’s natural setting. Plan your visit to this off-the-beaten-path destination and immerse yourself in the beauty of Central America’s rich biodiversity.
Day 5#: Returning to La Fortuna
Whether you’ve marveled at Cavernas del Venado, witnessed the blue hues of Rio Celeste, or immersed yourself in the rich biodiversity of Caño Negro, each destination has contributed to the one-of-a-lifetime memory you’ll cherish for years to come.
In La Fortuna, consider treating yourself to a relaxing evening at the local hot springs or trying some of the area’s restaurants. Feel free to share stories of your adventures with other travelers and savor the anticipation of the final days in this tropical paradise.
Day 6#: Blending Adventure with Culture
Day six offers a unique blend of adventure and cultural immersion. Visiting cultural sites should be part of your day if you want to learn more about the region’s history.
La Fortuna is home to landmarks like the Church of La Fortuna, a charming Catholic church that provides a glimpse into the town’s architectural heritage. You can also explore the town’s squares and parks nearby.
Day 7#: Departure and Last-Minute Discoveries
Before departing, take a half-day to explore any missed attractions or indulge in a last-minute adventure. You can visit Doña Mara to taste local food and join a chocolate tour to satisfy your sweet tooth. All there is left to do is depart from Juan Santamaría International Airport with unique memories of your Costa Rican adventure.
Extend Your Costa Rican Adventure
As your adventure draws to a close, La Fortuna is a testament to the beauty and diversity that this enchanting country has to offer. From the majesty of the active Arenal Volcano to the soothing hot springs, this itinerary has allowed you to get to know a little of this Central American gem.
But the journey doesn’t have to end here; Costa Rica is a treasure trove of exploration and discovery, and there’s always more to see.
If you plan on staying additional days, join us on a Costa Rica Coast-to-Coast tour and set out on an unforgettable adventure! This tour is designed to show you the best places Costa Rica’s Pacific and Caribbean offer, including tropical rainforests, turtle-nesting sites in Tortuguero, the Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, and more!
You can also take part in our Pura Vida Quest! Enjoy a 10-day journey through this glamorous country’s breathtaking landscapes with our tour. This adventure combines exhilarating white-water rafting, cloud forest exploration, and beach bliss, with stops at the breathtaking Arenal Volcano, the ethereal Monteverde Cloud Forest, and the tranquil beaches of Playa Carrillo. Take in the essence of Costa Rica and experience the Pura Vida lifestyle.
Tips for a Hassle-Free Journey
- Check the weather and pack accordingly, considering the tropical rainforest climate.
- Book reputable tour operators in advance to ensure availability and a seamless experience.
- Be prepared for some extra costs, especially for popular attractions and activities.
- Stay hydrated, and use sunscreen.
- Respect the local environment and wildlife.
Personalizing Your Itinerary
Feel free to tailor this itinerary based on your preferences. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, focus on activities like zip-lining and whitewater rafting. For a more relaxed experience, prioritize spa treatments and leisurely walks in the lush rainforest.
If you want to explore Costa Rica further, consider partnering with Find My Costa Rica. Our guided tours are designed to give you an in-depth understanding of the local culture, wildlife, and landscapes.
Contact Find My Costa Rica to start planning your next adventure. Customize your tour!